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Vanderbilt opens clinic to treat COVID 'long-haulers' exclusively


(Sarah Oppmann)  --  Vanderbilt Medical Center is focusing new attention on the long-term side effects that many adults are experiencing after they recover from COVID-19. The Adult Post-Acute COVID Clinic was opened last month to provide resources for patients suffering from lingering symptoms. 

Associate professor of Medicine and vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine, Cecelia Theobald, explains that this clinic serves as a “place to hear these patients and validate their experiences as we learn more about this new syndrome.”

VUMC states that the most common symptoms that adults have reported include “fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain.” Some more uncommon complications include “muscle pain, headache, intermittent fever, heart palpitations, inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), lung function abnormalities, acute kidney injury, rash and hair loss, anxiety, difficulty with thinking and concentration, depression, changes in mood, and problems with smell, taste, sleep and memory.”

Both patients who endured strong symptoms and complications while they had the virus and those who did not, are equally as likely to develop lingering effects. Sara Martin, MD, assistant professor of Medicine says, “We expect to see not only patients who were really sick during their original bout with COVID, but also some who maybe weren’t sick enough to have been admitted to the hospital but have gone on to develop chronic symptoms that are interfering with their recovery.”

To schedule an appointment with the Adult Post-Acute COVID Clinic, patients can call the Vanderbilt Hotline, (888) 312-0847, and select option 2. The hotline operates every day of the week from 7am to 7 pm.  

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